Like everyone else, I wanted to be a rock star when I grew up. Who didn't? The closest I ever came was playing in a little band called Toast who was basically exactly like The Doors, except for the attitude, style and music. Sure, that may sound like everything, but we were all a bunch of primadonnas in one way or another, so we all had to learn the art of dealing with other persons egos, and for that, I salute Ray Manzarek, Robbie Krieger, and the wet blanket known as John Densmore.
I won't get into my tale of rock stardom, which will be saved for my upcoming book, "Zakkattakkaz" (PALINDROME ALERT!!!!) … (I really wish there was a way for me to make sirens go off at certain points while people were reading what I wrote, though I'd definitely take advantage of it, so maybe it's for the best that it doesn't happen) but I bring up Toast here because the drummer and I were Doors fans and constantly debated which was better, the movie or the band. He sided with the band, I sided with the movie.
Let's be honest, they both have their advantages and disadvantages. Ultimately, the movie is based off the band, so the band has that going for it, however, the movie makes the band look so much better than they really were. Isn't it a little disappointing that there's a generation of us that like the Doors and regret that we will never get to see them live? After watching the movie, it looks like one of the greatest concert experiences ever, but then you go listen to a live show. They sound terrible. I can't imagine sitting there for a couple hours and listening to that organ and meandering guitar, not to mention a drunken Jimbo, which he was almost certain to be, especially after 1967. If I could see them at the Whiskey-A-Go-Go maybe, before they were big, that may have been pretty cool, but again, there's no telling how hallow they may have sounded without a bass player.
Now, the drawbacks of the movie are this. Val Kilmer is a douchebag. Granted, it takes a douchebag to play a douchebag (and Morrison is arguably the biggest douchebag of all-time), but Kilmer made him seem like more of a douchebag, with that blank stare. There are things Kilmer did that I certainly hope Morrison never did in real life. Most notably, if Jim Morrison quoted his own song lyrics as much as he did in the movie, oh my god, he would have no friends, or anyone that befriended him would have serious self-esteem issues. Also, if some long haired freak climbed on to my balcony to hit on my girlfriend, I would call the police. No doubt. I'm sure my girlfriend would be equally troubled and run inside screaming that some weirdo was climbing a tree to get on the balcony. This is breaking and entering, which for a free-spirited hippie may not seem like any wrongdoing, but trust me, for those of us who understand how humans are supposed to act within a society, it's not a smart thing to do. I'm passive aggressive. I'm sure many happy Americans would love to unload a shotgun on someone who climbed onto their balcony to hit on their girlfriends. Dag, I bet there are many happy girlfriends, especially in the red states, that would love for some hippie to do that so THEY could unload a shotgun. Just a bad move.
If I wanted to break it down further, I could say the first Doors album is better than the movie, which it absolutely is. I bet Meg Ryan though, is hotter than Pam was in real life, so that's one point for the movie. If you want to compare other albums, the movie would usually win, though L.A. Woman and Strange Days would be close. John Densmore was probably a lot cooler in real life than Kevin Dylan portrayed him in the movie. Nico was hotter in the movie than she was in real life, and the sheer fact that the movie had Velvet Underground songs in it, is another point. Jim Morrison never chased naked Indians around in the desert though, so score one for the band. The band may have had to deal with annoying agents, producers and managers, but none of them were ever probably as annoying as Oliver Stone is, scratch that, that's a push. The way I try to look at it is, if someone made a two hour long documentary on the band, would it be as good as the movie? I highly doubt it would, so I'm going with the movie.